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Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Essay Analyses 2017!

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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Essay Analyses 2017!  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 02:41
Hello there Whartonite hopefuls!

Admissionado back once again with fresh, off-the-shelves essay analyses for Wharton's 2017 application! We wanted to jump in and give you a head-start on those essays questions jog that imagination, and give you a few tips and tricks to get started on your Wharton essays to get you started on the best foot this year. Soooooo, without further ado:

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania MBA Essay 1

What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words).


Maybe it comes in the form of a position, THROUGH WHICH you’re achieving something cool (remember, a position by itself isn’t an end — it’s a means to an end). It’s not that you want to be the CEO of Apple just to be the CEO of Apple. It should be more like this: AS THE CEO OF APPLE, I would like to change the way people… XXX YYY and ZZZ. The professional goal here is the XXX YYY and ZZZ piece, not “being the CEO of Apple.” See the difference? Fair enough, you’re all probably comfortable with that distinction by now.

Shaping this sucker shouldn’t be too hard. Maybe it can go something like this:

Walk us through the vision, same as you normally would. Quickly invite us in, show us the opportunity that you see, the problem you want to fix, the thing that spurs you on. Then, with broad brush strokes (high-level), a glimpse into what you want to do. (100 words)

Now give us your professional goals. Walk us through the plan—perhaps first in the short term. (100 words or so)

Part II of the goals, but longer term, where it’s headed. What you want to achieve (not just in job title, but what happens because of it). (100 words or so)

How does Wharton give you what you want? Focus on the how, and use specifics. Make an argument here, not in the abstract—treat it like a mathematical proof. (100 words)

In a neat twist, it may be strong to CLOSE with a solid, assertive justification of why you need an MBA. Restate your professional goals, and explain why this is a must for you at this time. (100 words)

There are a few ways this essay can take shape. This is just one example to get you going if you’re stuck.

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania MBA Essay 2

Teamwork is at the core of the Wharton MBA experience with each student contributing unique elements to our collaborative culture. How will you contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words)


Here’s some context for new applicants to the Wharton MBA. Years ago, these guys had one of the longer sets of required essays, close to 3,000 words. Recently, they swung the pendulum far in the other direction. Last year it was just a single 500-word essay. This year, they’ve added a second question to the mix. This should be a signal: the one essay was somehow not quite enough. So let’s look at this new question, and dig deep.

You’ll hear this theme a lot. Wharton would never claim a monopoly on the idea that they prize teamwork. Kellogg has probably been the most successful at BRANDING that aspect of their culture. When you think MBA programs that sport teamwork, you think Kellogg. Well, the fact is, teamwork, as it pertains to elite MBA programs, is a key universal element. Find me one elite MBA program where students felt generally isolated and independent. {Crickets.} There’s teamwork everywhere. And for all intents and purposes, it’s equal. So, first things first: let’s not waste time attempting to make the argument that you’re DRAWN to Wharton for that reason. Mkay? Mkay. Next.

Let’s remember what business schools are after: INDICATORS OF FUTURE SUCCESS. Cannot stress this enough. All they want to see (in your applications, in your interview) is as high a probability score that you are going to be successful in life. Well, there’s a twist. Let’s just say you had a first year class of 100 MBA students. If each of those 100 students scored an “A” on the promise of future success, that’s fabulous! That class will graduate and those individuals will achieve some version of greatness. Let’s call it a future success score of “A.” Let’s replay it though. Imagine another set of 100 students who showed signs that they will not only be successful as individuals, but that in addition, they scored high on the TEAMWORK index. Meaning, they scored high on their ability to improve FROM others, and to IMPROVE others. What happens THEN? Well, that same class of 100 business school students will begin with their already-destined success, and then IMPROVE IT based on the synergies between them. This means that their future potential as individuals inside THIS type of class – heavy with cooperative individuals – is even MORE impressive.

So, signs of teamwork are part of it. What they really want to see is evidence that your own abilities grow more powerful in the company of other motivated individuals. And that your energy and leadership and innovativeness has improved the brains and abilities of others. Where in your past (your recent past especially) can you find evidence of either or both of those two things? Put together a list, rank it. You’re off to a smashing start.

Now, let’s talk about structuring this sucker. They want to know how your addition to their class is gonna make the individuals in it… better. Well, first, consider that everyone applying will lay claim to the fact that THEY – no seriously – THEY really embody teamwork. So, saying it isn’t going to get you anywhere. We need proof. Go back to that list you made, and pick your top one or two stories. Start this essay by bringing us back to an experience that reveals – through your decisions and actions – your ability to interact with others, compromise, inspire, negotiate, repair, etc. One helpful way to “solve for X” in this problem (where X = teamwork-related-strength) is to imagine some of your most powerful wins, and to reimagine them WITHOUT the help of others helping YOU. Or, to reimagine them without YOUR helping others… to help you. Either of those scenarios should result in a “less good” version of the same story. And therein lies the GOLD that will anchor this essay. Whatever caused the DIFFERENCE between those two versions is some ability of yours either to contribute, or to respond, in a way that will be tasty to Wharton. Because it should be proof that when you are interacting with others… good things happen.

Build that argument through an example or two. This should take you through the first 250-300 words. Then for your final shot, see if you can make a case for why this trait of yours will create particularly exciting sparks for you in the Wharton environment. Yes, you can bring this teamwork talent anywhere (Stanford, Harvard, CBS, Kellogg, etc.). But if there’s something specific about Whartonians, or Wharton offerings, that convinces you that you are more likely to thrive in this environment, make that case here. Doing so will reveal just how much research you’ve done on this, and how intimately you know the program. (And therefore, how much more likely you are to succeed because you seem to be a tightly wound coil, holding a ton of potential energy.)

Specificity is your friend here. If we see you make any argument that can be applied equally to another program, we will smack you. Or, if you make an argument that anyone else who’s applying can make, we will double-smack you. Your arguments need to be both specific to you, and specific to Wharton. A great way to pull this off is first to express what type of environment YOU need in order for YOU to succeed maximally. Then, map certain specific aspects of Wharton TO those points. If you do that, we’ll give you a Borat-approved High-Fiiiive.

And that's that. Helpful, eh? If you have any questions on it or Wharton or anything, just reply here or shoot us a PM. And if you want more Essay Analysis Goodness, check out more schools here. We're updating 'em daily as new prompts are released, so keep checking back.
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Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Essay Analyses 2017!   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2017, 02:41

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Essay Analyses 2017!

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